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“Gylymga konil bolseniz…”

April 12 is the Day of Scientists

In recent years, the state in Kazakhstan has begun to pay more attention to the development of science and support for scientists. Over the past two years, funding for science from the national budget in the country has almost doubled. That is, 84 billion tenge is allocated for this purpose. Scientists have also been given the authority to allocate public funds for research projects. In accordance with the instructions of the President, every year since last year, 500 scientists have had the opportunity to go to the world’s leading research centers for internships. In addition, 1,000 grants are allocated in the country under the “Young Scientist” project. Only yesterday, the Prime Minister instructed the Ministry of Education and Science to adopt a concept for the development of science in Kazakhstan for 2022-2026 by April 30.

What contribution do Aktobe scientists make to the development of science? We talked about this with scientists from the leading universities in the region – Aktobe Regional University named after K. Zhubanov and West Kazakhstan Medical University named after M. Ospanov. So…

Two directions, three sources of funding

– A new turning point in science is being made in our country. Scientists receive a lot of support and assistance from the state.

At the Aktobe Regional University named after Kudaibergen Zhubanov, the field of science develops in two directions. They are fundamental and applied research.

Fundamental research is conducted by scientific schools of the university. We have schools in physics, mathematics and chemistry, which were founded in the Soviet era. They conduct theoretical research.

The second direction is applied research. Research for this purpose is aimed at turning the results of scientific research into a real tool, to provide the population with everyday use. That is, work is being done to commercialize scientific results.

There are three main sources of research funding. The first is scientific grants allocated by the state. For example, the Ministry of Education and Science provides 3-year and 27-month grants for young scientists. In the competition, each scientist will present his topic and test the garden. Our university has 10 projects that have received such grants. The total cost of 3-year grants is 500 million tenge. Such support is unprecedented, and we have achieved unprecedented success thanks to sovereignty. The fact that university scientists have won state grants proves that our scientists are competitive at the global level, at least at the national level.

Currently, a competition of research projects on grants for young scientists is being organized. More than 20 scientists have submitted their projects to the competition.

The second funding is internal university grants. That is, the university allocates special funds to support science. For two years, our university has allocated about 100 million tenge.

The third is commercial projects. The work will be carried out on the basis of a specific contract, winning grants from some organizations, – said Rakhim Beknazarov, Vice-Rector for Science and Innovation of Aktobe Regional University named after K. Zhubanov.

Rakhim Agybayevich noted that university scientists work at the international level. Even a scientist from the university is currently working abroad on a special invitation.

– The project of artificial intelligence is in great demand at the global level. Our strong mathematicians, well-known scientists Madina Tleubergenova and Zhaishylyk Sartabanov make their own contribution to its development. Our scientists are actively involved in international events related to artificial intelligence. As a result, 2 PhD dissertations were defended. One of our doctoral students, Akylbek Zhamanshin, was invited to work in Turkey and now works there. In addition, it works for us. This shows that our specialists are adapted to the world-class market and are in demand.

A lot of work in the second direction is being done in the scientific laboratory “Radiation Physics of Materials” headed by a well-known scientist, Professor Kuanyshbek Shunkeev. Scientists here work side by side with scientists from around the world. Kuanyshbek Shunkeyevich develops science in both directions (both at the theoretical level and at the applied level).

Guzel Abilova, a natural scientist, is working with British scientists to create a nanofilm, instill drugs into it and treat eye diseases. This method of treatment has no adverse effects on the eyes and general health.

Young undergraduate Nuriya Aikenova will defend her doctoral dissertation in Kazan in about a week. He is studying how to prevent scaling when water boils. He is also studying the use of scale. There is an opportunity to commercialize this research project. Nuriya Aikenova’s innovative filter for wastewater treatment is also a scientific achievement. Nuria’s treatment technology based on granulated carbonate sludge can also be used by industrial companies in the region. She has been working on this project for 3 years. During this time, Nuria conducted complex physical and chemical research in the oil industry.

Candidate of Technical Sciences Bayan Almatova is considering the reuse in production by adding a natural mineral – diatomite to ground oil. Thus, a lot of work is being done to put the contaminated land into production and reuse it.

Our young scientists Otegen Sariev and Erlan Zhumagaliyev together with the Aktobe Ferroalloy Plant collect the chromium residue and then smelt the chromium. They started work on this project two years ago. Now the project is showing its results.

Our physicist Amirbek Bekeshov and chemist Lyazzat Tastanova together with scientists from Nazarbayev University undertook a large project. They are now installing special equipment on the roof of the building of our university and monitoring the air. Scientists also have cameras in the city. This study allows to determine the amount of chromium residues in the air and the residue of other metals that are harmful to the body and the environment.

This is part of the work being done by university scientists. The work in the field of spirituality is unique. In general, the university has 27 professors, 27 doctors of sciences, 200 candidates of sciences, 23 PhDs, 238 masters, 127 associate professors, – said Rakhim Beknazarov.

Laboratory in cooperation with foreign scientists

The history of the Scientific Center “Radiation Physics of Materials” of Aktobe Regional University named after K. Zhubanov, headed by the winner of the Satpayev Prize, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Professor, Academician of the National Academy of Engineering of the Republic of Kazakhstan  Kuanyshbek Shunkeev, dates back to 1984.

– With the support of the then rector of the university Mukhtar Aryn, a research center was opened. With the direct support of my teacher, academician Lushchik Cheslav, I clarified the scientific direction of the laboratory. Our research laboratory is equipped with absorption, luminescence, thermoactivation spectroscopy devices.

The universal cryostat we developed was developed in the construction bureau of the Institute of Physics, University of Tartu, Estonia.

On the basis of this research center we received 5 state grants from the Ministry. We are presenting a project to participate in another competition organized by the state. It should be noted that thanks to this state grant, we received an unparalleled intensity laser light source in a wide range of spectra (190-2100 nm), which allows the laboratory to conduct large-scale research.

In the laboratory we work at the international level. At the international level, it is not a matter of inviting a person from Orenburg. In fact, our research center has close ties with foreign scientists. We conduct research together with our foreign colleagues from Poland (University of Gdansk), Estonia (University of Tartu), Latvia (University of Latvia), Belarus (Janka Kupala Grodno State University) and Russia (Moscow Lomonosov State University, AF Ioffe Institute of Physics and Technology, Tomsk National Research University, Ural Federal University named after the first president of Russia N.B. Yeltsin, Kemerovo State University)..

Academic mobility of students and faculty of the University is carried out at the Universities of Gdansk (Poland) and Tartu (Estonia). My students are going to Poland soon to take part in a scientific conference there. I am traveling elsewhere. My foreign colleagues have invited me to a big conference in Warsaw in the fall. Our scientists and doctoral students are always in the middle of such a hectic life. Working language is  English. My students are fluent in English. This is a requirement of science.

Young people have the opportunity to cross the threshold of the university as a student and become a PhD. Because there are bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and dissertation councils in physics. This is a great opportunity for young people, for science.

Under my guidance, 11 students successfully defended their dissertations. 8 of them are candidates of sciences (E.Sarmukhanov, A.Bekeshev, S.Tulepbergenov, Sh.Sagimbaeva, L.Myasnikova, A.Barmina, D.Sergeev, K.Bizhanova), 3 of them are PhDs (N.Zhanturina , Z. Aimaganbetova, Zh. Ubayev). My students are working hard in the field of science. For example, only yesterday Lyudmila Myasnikova was appointed Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs.

Professor D. Sergeyev is one of the leading scientists who has published articles on nanotechnology in the world-class scientific publication Q1. Yesterday, the Minister of Education and Science of Kazakhstan A. Aimagambetov sent a special congratulatory message to Professor D. Sergeev on the occasion of the Day of Scientists. In general, the Hirsch index of scientists is 6-10 units. This is a very high figure for Kazakhstani scientists, – said Kuanyshbek Shunkeev.

The world prestige of scientists is measured by the publication of articles on innovative topics in their scientific publications of Q1, Q2, Q3 degrees in the international database of Web of Science and Scopus. Kuanyshbek Shunkeev’s 46 articles are included in the Scopus database. And Hirsch’s index is 10. This is a big figure.

– Every year we send about a dozen articles in English to reputable foreign scientific journals. The results of the study were published in the “Physics State Solid”, “Journal of Luminescence”, “Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter”, “Radiation Measurements”, “Journal of Applied Spectroscopy”, “Low Temperature Physics”, “Journal of Physics: Conference Series”, Eurasian Journal of Physical and Functional Materials, etc. published in magazines. These publications do not publish materials that are not new, – says the scientist.

The work of the center’s scientists is highly valued by the state. For example, K. Shunkeev, Sh. Sagimbaeva, S. Tulepbergenov, A. Bekeshev are the winners of the K. Satpayev Prize. D.Sergeev, L.Myasnikova, N.Zhanturina and A.Barmina received the state scientific award of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan for young scientists. K. Shunkeyev, L. Myasnikova, N. Zhanturina, A. Bekeshev, Sh. Sagimbayeva were named “The best teacher of the university”.

Currently, the research center is summarizing the results of research projects implemented by the Ministry.

8 projects are funded by the state

Scientists of the West Kazakhstan Medical University named after M. Ospanov submitted 37 projects to the competition organized by the Ministry of Education and Science, 8 of which received grants. Scientists plan to take part in the competition for state grants this year as well.

– In general, in the world practice there is a way to calculate the availability of sufficient support for science. How much of the GDP is allocated for this industry? This is the calculation method. For example, if the amount of funding for science is more than 1% of GDP, there is reason to believe that such countries have science. Unfortunately, we have not reached this limit (in 2019, the minimum amount of money spent on science in Kazakhstan was 0.12% of GDP), but by 2025 we aim to reach it.

This year we celebrate the 65th anniversary of our university. All year-round events are organized in the framework of this anniversary. An international conference of young scientists will be held soon.

Last year, our university submitted 37 projects to the competition organized by the Ministry of Education and Science. 8 of them won. These 8 projects are funded by the Ministry. 4 of them are one-year projects, the rest are three-year projects. Of course, these 37 projects were not ready in a year. Significant funds are also allocated from the university’s internal funding sources to support scientists. These projects are the result. It should be noted that this year 106 million tenge will be allocated for science from domestic sources.

Last year, the ministry organized a competition for the “Best Researcher”. More than 500 scientists from across the country applied for the competition, and 50 scientists became the winners. In particular, only 7 scientists in the field of medicine received grants. Two of them were inherited by me, Professor of Hygiene, Doctor of Medical Sciences Arystan Mamyrbayev.

Each of the winners received 5 million 834 thousand tenge. This is an honor and a great responsibility for us, – said the head of the Department of Research, West Kazakhstan Medical University named after M. Ospanov, Candidate of Medical Sciences, Associate Professor Akmaral Baspakova.